Case Study: The Zangmeister Center no longer chases paper after Cabinet SAFE

Established in 1982 as Mid Ohio Oncology Hematology, Inc., Zangmeister Center merged four outpatient cancer and blood disorder treatment facilities into one location in early 2007.

The new facility is a progressive treatment center serving 16,000 patients annually. But while Zangmeister Center’s opening was eagerly anticipated, the challenge of moving mountains of paper patient records and related documents was daunting.

Unique Challenges of Patient Charts and Medical Records

Zangmeister Center, like most medical facilities, generated a variety of documentation, which together comprised comprehensive patient records. Unfortunately, this documentation was collected and stored in a variety of formats. Patient records resided in an electronic medical record system, and/or paper patient charts along with external documents in both digital and paper form such as outside laboratory correspondence. Some files contained over 500 pages of paper!

Starting with 40 concurrent Zangmeister users, the benefits of going paperless have inspired Nancy Merriman to bring SAFE to other departments, such as Human Resources.

Other documents such as research study records were voluminous; as Nancy Merriman, Research Manager at Zangmeister Center, noted, “Many research studies contain 200 page protocols for the nursing staff, along with multiple supporting documents – a staggering amount of paper that needed to be produced, filed and continually accessed. In addition, HIPAA compliance requires proper security and authorization of all paperwork, making lost charts and patient privacy a more pressing concern than ever.”

All of these medical documents needed to be retained, but would not fit into the new Zangmeister Center in their paper form. Establishing an automated electronic document management solution to handle electronic medical charts would require careful planning and expertise. Information in patient records had to be examined for relevance and then indexed into digital files and folders. Progress notes, patient information, images, prescriptions, insurance information, EOB’s and other medical documents also had to appear in electronic medical charts.

Healthcare Industry Places Premium on Ease-of-Use

Nurses, receptionists, support staff, and doctors were accustomed to having a large file in hand to review when caring for patients. As part of the move to electronic document management, viewing and updating patient records needed to be quick and easy.

Advantage Data Systems (ADS), a complete solutions integrator for a variety of industries, introduced Zangmeister to the SAFE document management platform. SAFE is Cabinet’s Shared Access Filing Environment and holds the well-earned reputation as the most affordable and comprehensive document management and workflow platform for SMBs. In the words of Roger Veach, President of ADS, “Advantage Data Systems has focused solely on Cabinet as our electronic document management system of choice for three reasons: 1) intuitive, user-friendly interface, 2) the hands-on, responsive and capable people at Cabinet and 3) the reliability of the SAFE product itself.” Mr. Veach added, “The SAFE interface was a major factor in Zangmeister’s decision to go with Cabinet. SAFE electronically mimics paper patient charts and files, avoiding steep learning curves that could adversely impact the facility’s productivity.” Andrew Cooper, Information Technology Manager at the Zangmeister Center said, “When ADS introduced us to Cabinet, we were immediately impressed by SAFE’s simplicity, flexibility and low cost implementation”.

SAFE in Action

ADS demonstrated SAFE in real time by taking Zangmeister staff to The Bone & Joint Clinic, a busy and successful orthopaedic practice in Franklin, Tennessee already using Cabinet’s electron document management solution. The Bone & Joint Clinic uses SAFE and its workflow capabilities to address the challenge of storing, accessing, and automating the flow of patient information throughout the clinic. In the process, the facility reclaimed enough space to add doctors and new exam rooms.

Seeing SAFE in practice at a leading medical facility with similar document management needs solidified Zangmeister’s decision to go with ADS and Cabinet.

The Zangmeister Center is pleased with Cabinet’s and ADS’ role in helping them move thousands of patient records into the new facility. Zangmeister staff can quickly and easily retrieve patient data and email or fax documents directly out of individual patient folders.

Directly addressing the challenges of moving into a new facility and introducing a new electronic document management system to the center’s employees, ADS commandeered the electronic conversion of 15,000 patient files using Cabinet Batch. Several high speed Canon scanners were used to feed Cabinet Batch with a stream of documents. Cabinet Batch processed these streams by quickly separating, naming and filing each document into the appropriate folders in SAFE. The conversion process is ongoing, but has already enabled Zangmeister to accommodate the remaining paper documents in the new facility. Expert attention to the unique needs of medical facilities and the specific processes involved when handling electronic patient records ensured a smooth transition to the SAFE document management platform. Zangmeister’s existing EMR/practice management software linked to SAFE, providing a measure of business continuity without disrupting in-place processes and procedures.

Application Integration Allows For Immediate Access to All Patient Data

The key user challenge in medical environments is the need to see complete patient charts quickly and easily. The lack of time to learn a new system explained the continued use of heavy, cumbersome paper files and folders. Both the Bone & Joint Clinic and Zangmeister Center were early users of Cabinet’s innovative Retriever™ technology. Cabinet specifically developed this breakthrough in integration so software applications can be integrated without the need for custom development. Retriever™ appears as an icon button in the native application used by physicians and staff, and gives access to patient’s record information stored in SAFE with a click of the button.

All patient data is available quickly and easily, and the practice of printing multiple copies of patient documents is obsolete. Retriever also enforces user access privileges so sensitive patient data remains secure and only viewable by appropriate Zangmeister staff. The result is instant access to authorized documents, and the value of integrated applications without the expense of a custom IT retrofit.

Zangmeister Looks Forward to Extending SAFE Throughout Facility

Starting with 40 concurrent Zangmeister users, the benefits of going paperless have inspired Nancy Merriman to bring SAFE to other departments, such as Human Resources. The Zangmeister Center is pleased with Cabinet’s and ADS’ role in helping them move thousands of patient records into the new facility. Zangmeister staff can quickly and easily retrieve patient data and email or fax documents directly out of individual patient folders. “There is no more chasing paper at Zangmeister Center” said Nancy Merriman. Added Andrew Cooper, Information Technology Manager, Zangmeister Center, “Our goal is to go paperless, and Cabinet is key to doing so.”

Want to learn what SAFE document management software can do for your business? Schedule a customized, no-strings-attached demo today.